Some kind of optimism

GUTS McTAVISH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

During the off-season there was plenty room for optimism for the Vancouver Canucks.

GM Mike Gillis was the new man in charge and he wasted no time changing what he called the culture of this team. They were faster, tougher, and finally had a healthy defence.

There were promises of an up tempo offence which coach Alain Vigneault said he was on board with (cue record-scratch sound effect). Wasn't this the same guy that said after his team blew a late lead in San Jose that we played our game? That night they had 14 shots! OK, so maybe, he, kind of, reverted back, a bit, to his true comfort zone.

Potential, a cousin to optimism, is also a very popular word to use when discussing your team. Keep in mind, though, the odds of everyone reaching their potential at the exact same time is about the same odds as the guy standing in line behind Michael Phelps ever getting a bong hit. Think about it, that boy's got some serious world-class lungs.

Team potential can only be realized when best-case scenarios come to fruition. Here is an example of what best-case scenarios sounded like during the off-season. See if any of them sound familiar to you:

- What a great run Mason Raymond had last season, he looks like a true blue chipper. His speed and puck skills definitely make him a 20-goal threat.

- Steve Bernier and that right-handed shot of his should be a perfect fit to play alongside the Sedins. Anson who?

- I'm telling you, Alex Edler is ready to take the next step and become one of the better D-men in the league.

- Pavol Demitra must have felt like he died and went to offensive heaven coming here from that stifling Jacques Lemaire system.

- Hey, if Gillis can land Mats Sundin to play alongside Demitra, just think of the pressure it would take off the Sedins' line.

- If something happens to Roberto Luongo, we have a reliable insurance policy by the name of Curtis Sanford. You know, the former Blue that single-handedly killed the Canucks a few years back.

- We'll be fine.

Sounds familiar?


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